Note: This post has no content about the episode itself since it is a recap episode. If you’re here for that then..enjoy the pictures I guess?
The story you didn’t know, or now you do
At first, I was wondering what was up with the delay of this episode (as it is usually out on Sundays for me), after searching around the internet after a couple of days, I realized that this episode actually was a recap of Nekomonogatari Black (4-episode OVA), hence the subs were delayed, or not even done at all.
Since it was a recap episode, the thought of skipping this post did occur to me, but it made little sense to blog a series and leave it “incomplete”. And since it is a recap episode, what am I supposed to really talk about? I suppose I could talk about Neko Black, but I’d imagine that anyone reading this would have at least already known about the Monogatari series in general (else you’re probably lost). In the end I decided to touch on a little about recap episodes and my thoughts on them. Generally, they can be summed up as:
Great for them producers, sucks for us viewers
Let’s talk about the perspective of a viewer first. To be fair, Neko Black originally aired during December last year, so it has been a decent amount of time since then, so rehashing the content here would actually benefit those who actually missed out on that, or are otherwise new to the series. Having said that, it would have definitely made more sense for them to put the recap episode right at the start if that were the case, but doing so would then severely hurt the reputation of any series (think about it). In a nutshell, there is simply close to no real reason for actually watching a recap episode, much less blog about it!
As for me, I took it as a forced lesson to listen to the raw (no subtitles) since I had to go through the episode anyway, (for the sake of completion). As I had already watched Neko Black before, I pretty much knew what was going on/being said for the most part, though some dialogue still got the better of me.
Now, one might be thinking: “If this move is so detrimental to viewers, why would they ever do that?” The answer is quite easy to figure out, even for outsiders like me, and the answer is…money. Saving money to be exact. By recycling used scenes for an entire episode, the producers save an episodes’ worth of money, which is no small sum by the way (an episode costs roughly 5 digits to produce from what I know). The other possibility could be that they wanted to slower the pacing of the overall story flow by inserting a recap, but if they are already cutting contents from the light novel, couldn’t they have just lengthened the story arcs (Neko White in this case) instead?
In the end, it clearly is all about the money. If producing anime doesn’t earn money, who would do it? Therefore there has to be a compromise somewhere between money and quality – drawing new scenes means paying more animators, recap means saving (thus earning) that said money. No one like recap episodes, as they are a total waste of time (Shingeki no Kyojin comes to mind), however we also need to understand why they are there and the reasoning behind it. Of course, I could be entirely wrong about this whole matter, maybe there are other reasons and whatnot, possible but not probable.
PS: It took roughly half an hour to finish typing this post. Efficiency for the win?